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Injuries plague Hawks

MURFREESBORO n Chowan University women’s soccer coach Georgina Donnelly refused to make excuses.

Her squad suffered a tough 2-0 loss to the University of Mary Washington Thursday afternoon and the second-year coach had many excuses she could have made had she wanted, but wouldn’t cast any dispersions on the Eagle victory.

“We’ve got to keep our heads up and keep going,” Donnelly said. “This was not the finish we wanted for our senior at home, but we still have a lot left in the tank.”

While Donnelly was focusing on the future, she would have been justified in taking a moment to reflect on a handful of injuries that hurt the team’s chances for a win.

The Hawks began the day with two key pieces of their team on the sidelines.

Freshman striker Carla Danzeisen was nursing a badly bruised ankle and junior defender Stephanie Montague was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Add to that, injuries to key players such as junior captains Casey Driver and Melissa Jenkins and freshman sensation Ashley Bradford and the Hawks were at a decided disadvantage. Though all three played, they were slowed by injuries and Bradford was double-teamed the entire day to boot.

“They had Ashley’s number,” Donnelly said. “They were two defenders with her the whole game.”

The Hawks were on the defensive from the outset as junior captain Melissa Rodgers made an excellent defensive stop less than eight minutes into the match.

Chowan countered four minutes later when freshman forward Lacy Simpson just missed to the right side of the goal.

Mary Washington got on the board at the 25:02 mark of the first half when Molly McCluskey dropped a shot over the outstretched arms of CU keeper Tiffany Lee. That 1-0 lead held until the half despite senior Nichole Young getting off a good shot late in the half. The Young shot missed just left.

In the second half freshman defender Erin Jackson was slowed by injury, but still managed to make an excellent save early in the half.

Simpson had another look in the second half, but the shot again missed just right. Kermethia Abernathy got off her only shot on the day in the 29th minute of the second half and Driver missed just over the cross board three minutes later.

With time running out, Lee made a save at the 10 minute mark, but just seconds later Jaclyn Gebbia found the back of the net to give UMC the 2-0 margin by which they won.

Despite suffering the loss, Donnelly was pleased with the play of Jenkins and Simpson.

“Jenks had a great game,” the coach said. “She showed a lot of leadership and was very disciplined.

“Lacy Simpson played well today following quite a few injuries this season,” she added.

Chowan dropped to 8-5-2 on the season. They will be off this weekend before heading to Guilford College on Monday.